Reviewed by Jimmy | 11.15.06
The Spongebob Squarepants momentum rolls on as we are welcomed to another adventure into the depths of Bikini Bottom. Through the belly of beast, I look at the new Spongebob game for all answers to life, or maybe just to have a good time with my pal Spongy.
On the back of the Nintendo DS packaging you'll see "Play in 8 Bizarre and Unusual Worlds!" In a synopsis that is Spongebob Squarepants new game, Creature from the Krusty Krab. Always bizarre, and unusual, Spongebob doesn't disappoint its fans who love the twisted tales from the Sponge named Bob. This shouldn't come to a surprise if you've played a Spongebob game in the past or seen the cartoon. If not ready for the unexplainable, and strange, Spongebob might take a little warming up too. When you're ready, grab your snorkel and dive in.
Like Spongebob Squarepants unique subject matter, the gameplay advances into the depths of the Nintendo DS with a mighty leap to utilize all of the NinDS functionality. In Krusty Krab (That's better then re-typing all 45 letters of the games title), get ready to blow away squids, slice and dice seaweed, and jump your way out of Spongebobs nightmare. The stylus will be called upon for you to play Krusty Krab which was a relief, and then it caused a slight sigh. The sigh comes because Krusty Krab really doesn't have a good balance in the gameplay and the use of the stylus. Half the time you'll be in a frantic sense, swiping then dotting, then blowing, and yelling. It's inventive, but at the same right it sometimes hinders the flow of the game. I might complain, but even though it's a little frustrating and unnatural, I would take the madness over the standard controls any day.
Krusty Krab is a 2D Platformer with the elements of the stylus thrown in. Underneath the flash of the DS, Krusty Krab is as basic as they come. The story will offer some satisfaction if you did the Sponge, and hopefully it's enough to make you press on through the "8 Bizarre and Unusual Worlds!" For the 8 worlds you will have the chance to use Patrick, drive Spongebob Hot Rod, and even get into the cockpit of a plane. The diversity is interesting enough even if it feels like mini-games stung together. They say the youth is loosing their attention span, and if that is so, Sponge's missions will last just long enough.
Graphically Krusty Krab is satisfactory, I'd grade it C+. The top screen is wonderfully used to animate Spongebob Squarepants quietly sleeping in his bed while the touch screen hosts the action. Blitz Games cleverly uses both screens effectively and at times brings the action from the bottom screen up top. It's always cool when a DS game integrates the dual screens as one. Spongebob also gives the game an extra touch of humor with the silly animations that are transferred screen to screen. Blitz Games also included some short cartoon clips that helps piece together the story and makes the game feel more like the popular TV show. The concept works well, but the picture quality is a little grainy and really takes away the illusion of the show.
Overall the graphics keep the simplistic Spongebob look that captures the essence of the show, its a good thing too because the audio portion is a little weak, with the same old music, and low audio quality. Also, the lack of any real voice overs, beside a few lines, sinks the production value from standing out a little more. I'm really interested in upgrade Spongebob is going to get on the Wii. Hopefully Blitz brings the whole package up to meet the TV shows standards.
Spongebob Squarepants: Creature From the Krusty Krab is interesting in execution, but a little old in every other aspect. I think the younger crowd, its target audience will be overjoyed in the "8 Bizarre and Unusual Worlds!" and use of all the Nintendo DS's functions. Anyone else who has been to Bikini Bottom before will find the water to be a little shallow and stagnant.
Gameplay: 6.5, Graphics/Sound: 6, Innovation: 6, Mojo: 5. Final: 6 / 10
Uses all of the Nintendo DS functions, All the Spongebob Wackiness You Love
Frantic Unbalanced Gameplay, Low audio production
Embark on a series of fantastic tales through nine visually unique levels
Experience five brand new gameplay mechanics including rampaging, flying, skydiving, chase and hot rod racing
Rampage through Bikini Bottom as gigantic Plankton
Fly through the savage jaw of the enormous bull worm as SpongeBob
Blast off into outer space and survive a hi-speed asteroid field as Patrick
Plunge into the pages of a comic book as Starfishman and become the hero of the seven seas
Speed through the metallic flames, chrome and smoke-filled world of Hot Rod racing